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22.3.2 \rotatebox

Synopsis if you use the graphics package:


Synopses if you use the graphicx package:

\rotatebox[key-value list]{angle}{material}

Put material in a box and rotate it angle degrees counterclockwise.

This example rotates the table column heads forty five degrees.

  \rotatebox{45}{Character} &\rotatebox{45}{NATO phonetic}   \\
  A                         &AL-FAH  \\
  B                         &BRAH-VOH

The material can be anything that goes in a box, including a graphic.


To place the rotated material, the first step is that LaTeX sets material in a box, with a reference point on the left baseline. The second step is the rotation, by default about the reference point. The third step is that LaTeX computes a box to bound the rotated material. Fourth, LaTeX moves this box horizontally so that the left edge of this new bounding box coincides with the left edge of the box from the first step (they need not coincide vertically). This new bounding box, in its new position, is what LaTeX uses as the box when typesetting this material.

If you use the graphics package then the rotation is about the reference point of the box. If you use the graphicx package then these are the options that can go in the key-value list, but note that you can get the same effect without needing this package, except for the x and y options (see \includegraphics).


The point of the material’s box about which the rotation happens. Possible value is any string containing one or two of: l for left, r for right, b for bottom, c for center, t for top, and B for baseline. Thus, the first line here


will turn the picture upside down from the center while the second will turn its picture upside down about its left baseline. (The character c gives the horizontal center in bc or tc but gives the vertical center in lc or rc, and gives both in c.) The default is lB.

x, y

Specify an arbitrary point of rotation with \rotatebox[x=TeX dimension,y=TeX dimension]{...} (see Units of length). These give the offset from the box’s reference point.


This key allows you to change the default of degrees counterclockwise. Setting units=-360 changes the direction to degrees clockwise and setting units=6.283185 changes to radians counterclockwise.

Unofficial LaTeX2e reference manual